Before you hit the road on your way to your next gig, listen to my performing philosophies.
I want you to listen to what I’m about to say. Don’t be like my rabbit, who never listens to me.
Since you are not my rabbit, I’m sure you are more willing to lend me your ears. Unless you are one of my children, who also have difficulty listening to me, because, they say, I don’t sound like Beyonce wailing in their MP3 player’s earphones.
The following performing tips will serve you in good stead. If they don’t, come back here and complain, so I can blame your parents for not passing to you the genes of a good performer.
1. Before starting your show, don’t make a lengthy introduction. People don’t care about how long you have been doing magic, or what awards you won. Don’t introduce yourself in the mistaken belief that you will regale them with your biography. Regaling the audience with your credentials is the job of the emcee, not yours.
If you want to publicize your life’s accomplishments, wait till you are 80 years old and write your memoirs. You can fill your autobiography with accounts of your exploits, and nobody will get bored except those who buy your book.
In the meantime, when performing magic, come on stage and get down to business. Present the opening trick in the first 10 seconds and blow them away.
2. Don’t apologize for any shortcomings. Don’t tell the audience you were late for the show because you got caught up in traffic, that you have not set up your props properly because you are pressed for time, that you are running a slight fever, that you have colds, that…
Stop! Don’t make excuses. Don’t tell them why you are about to fail. Just do the magic. Making excuses is boring!
3. Touch them emotionally. Make them laugh. Make them cry. And they will kneel before you and adore you like a superstar. People have seen so many boring magicians before, so seeing one that makes them laugh, cry and give them a good time is heaven-sent.
4. Speak distinctly and loudly for everyone to hear and understand you. Don’t mumble or whisper unless for effect or for theatrics. The fastest way to bore an audience to extinction is exclude them from the verbal communication process.
If you are performing in a large venue, make sure you use a device to amplify your voice. The last time I checked, that device is called a microphone.
5. Make Eye Contact: Look people in the eyes. Don’t look down at your hands always. That will only show the crown of your head, not your face, to the audience. Your hair, even if it’s done by the number one hair stylist in the Philippines, is not nearly as interesting as your face, even if you have the most uninteresting face.
So look people in the eyes, engage their gaze, and keep their attention.